Add SSH key access to a GitHub repository

Generate an SSH key pair

  1. In a terminal execute
ssh-keygen

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key : /Users/MY_USERNAME/Git/_Keys/MY_PROJECT/MY_PROJECT_rsa_ci
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:

Leave the passphrase empty, many systems cannot work with password protected key pairs.

This process will save the key-pair in two files. The private key with no extension, and the public key with the .pub extension.

Create a new service GitHub user account which will have access to the repository

  1. Create a new email address (GitHub requires unique email addresses for every user)
  2. Register a new user which will have access to the repository

Upload the public key to the service GitHub account

    1. Log into the GitHub account and select Settings in the drop-down in the upper right corner
    2. On the left side select SSH and GPG keys
    3. In the upper right corner select the New SSH key button
    4. Copy the above generated public key to your clipboard.
      On a Mac copy the public key to your clipboard with the command

      pbcopy < /Users/MY_USERNAME/Git/_Keys/MY_PROJECT/MY_PROJECT_rsa_ci.pub
    5. Paste the public key into the textbox

Add the service user as a collaborator to the GitHub repository

  1. Log into the GitHub account that has admin access to the repository
  2. Navigate to the repository and select Settings
  3. Select COllaborators & teams
  4. Enter the username into the search box and click Add collaborator

If you use two-factor authentication in Github

If you use two-factor authentication in your GitHub account, and you need automated access to it, create a Personal Access Token and use it instead of your password. GitHub will not ask you to verify your identity.

Generate a Personal Access Token

    1. Log into your GitHub account
    2. On the left side select Developer settings
    3. Select Personal access tokens
    4. Click the Generate new token button
    5. Select the repo checkbox
    6. Copy the token to your clipboard. This is the last time you are able to see the token.
    7. Save the token at a secure location, and use it instead of your password when you need automated access to your GitHub account.

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